Archive for September, 2014
So my Mom recently reposted an old blog she had done years ago, where she had to list 26 things, one for each letter of the alphabet, that described her. I thought it was a fun idea, so I started writing one out.
Well, since I’m me and I ramble, I wrote out a bunch that were mostly positive traits with like one or two negatives mixed in and several that are in between. Which led me to think “can I think of a positive and a negative trait for each letter of the alphabet?” And as I kept going, I was like “Well, this really gives a fuller description of me!” And since I didn’t want to NOT use some of the positive traits that describe me well, but I didn’t want to be cocky about myself, I decided to do BOTH lists on two separate blogs. I have 26 letters in this one, alternating “Positive” and “Negative”. (Again, some of these are neutral and aren’t really one or the other. You can decide which is which.)
So without further ado, here is half of how I describe myself!!!
A-Z (Positive, Negative)
Adventurous– I don’t mean that I’m a daredevil or that I’m up for anything presented to me, because I’m neither. I’m more of a mild adventurer: always ready to go exploring in the woods, pleased to try new foods, willing to go ask a random stranger a question. I’m a wholesome and mild adventurer.
Isn’t this a pretty picture Elizabeth took of me? 😀 -Cute
Bashful– Not every introvert is shy, but I am a shy one. And while that’s not always a negative trait, it can add to the awkwardness I exude. When I was young it kept me from ever opening my mouth in a group setting, and though I’m better about that now that I’m older, it’s easy to revert back into my closed-mouth self.
Cute– You can take this however you want to, but I’m really not being vain. I just honestly think I’m pretty cute, both physically and personality-wise. I feel like I would really like myself and my quirks if I was my friend.
Dizzy– This really isn’t that common a trait in me, hehe, but sometimes at work I’ll just feel dizzy. And I run, and spin, and dance, so sometimes that makes me dizzy. But the biggest reason is probably because I often stand with one foot on the other, thus causing me to fall over, thus creating dizziness!
Easily Startled– Almost everyone who knows me in person can attest to this, and many will proudly say that they spent many happy hours (ok, maybe minutes) trying to get me to scream or jump or say “Whoa!”. I just hope I was able to satisfactorily entertain everyone through my reactions.
Fearful– Whether it be afraid of being alone in my house, or scared to confront someone, fear is a part of my nature that I’ve always known. As a child I wouldn’t go into any dark room at night without someone being in the upstairs with me. God has helped me and taught me a lot so far, but there is still much I have to conquer as far as overcoming fear in my life.
Bekah and I have fun where I try to clap at the same time she does. -Giggler
Giggler– I really like to laugh. A lot. I mean, who doesn’t? And it’s generally pretty easy to make me laugh. And when I get tired, or when you get me going, I get sooo giggly! Just stay up with me and Elizabeth some night until 2:00 and you’ll get to hear it.
Hesitant to Open Up– This isn’t always a bad thing, but it canbe. Being hesitant to talk can make it more natural for me to listen, which is a plus. My major issue is when I’m the one who hesitates, and then I go into a mental pity-party about how no one cares about me. My thing this year is to try to take the relational initiative when an opportunity arises, and it’s been better so far.
Introverted– I really love people, but I get my energy from being alone. Spending time listening to music and either reading, writing, organizing, praying or exploring the outdoors are some of my favorite ways to enjoy myself and God, and to relax/recharge.
Jealous– This isn’t a strongly visible or permeating trait in me, but it definitely crops up. I wasn’t the jealous girlfriend type. Rather, I’m the person who feels envious of seeing close friendships because I wish I had that kind of closeness with people. Jealous may be a strong word for it, but it’s close.
Kind– What I mean by saying that I’m kind is that I actively enjoy (enjoy actively?) doing things for people. I like to serve, and to give, and if there’s a way to help someone’s day or meet a need that I’m able to supply, I like to do it.
Lazy– Yyyyeah. Procrastinator… lazy… I have a strong work ethic, but golly, sometimes I just have no self-motivation! It’s perfectly comfortable for me to sit around browsing Facebook and watching Netflix for days on end on my laptop. Ok, comfortable until the guilt shows up. Then I’ll snap out of it for a little while.
Merciful– I love mercy! I definitely believe in justice, but redemption and compassion and second chances and going the extra mile are things about Jesus that I love and want so much to emulate. I love Matthew 5 because Jesus talks a lot about that. I don’t know if I have the Spiritual Gift of mercy or not, but it’s a possibility.
Now Jenga! That’s a game I can play! (For the most part.) -Non-Athletic
Non-Athletic– I am really bad at sports. I run away from flying balls and scream when one is thrown at me, whether it be a baseball, basketball, volleyball or ping pong ball. I may try at some sports and not completely fail, such as croquet and bowling, but for the most part, don’t depend on me to do anything cool that requires athletic skills.
Organizer– Note that I didn’t say “organized”. That’s because, while I enjoy the act of organizing things, I am not perpetually in a state of organization. I like to declutter but I can go for a fairly long time before I feel like I have to. I am lazy, as I previously stated.
People Pleaser– (This has alliteration, so it trumps “Procrastination”.) Making people mad or uncomfortable is one of my least favorite things, while giving people joy or having them be pleased with me fills me with happiness. And although caring about what people think gives me empathy, if I place my identity in how others feel about me, or ignore what I know to be right in order to please someone else… well, the man and son carrying their donkey know how that feels, right?
Quiet– Everyone can attest to the fact that I am a quiet person, especially when you first get to know me. I can definitely talk when I’m comfortable, and I get comfortable a whole lot easier than I did, say, in high school. But you’ll still often find me to be quicker to observe than to speak up.
Rambler– My blog speaks for itself. No further explanation required.
Well somebody needed to shake hands with the Hulk! -Silly
Silly– I like dancing, and puns, and silly voices, and lip-syncing with whatever objects are around me, and watching Blues Big Musical, and making up new lyrics to songs. I’m not very over-the-top, but I can be silly, and I get silly AND giggly when I’m really tired.
Tired– This is the fate of every human being from teenager on up. It is inevitable for us to always be tired for the rest of our lives. If I’m having a bad day at work, it’s because I’m tired. If my words are coming out incoherently, I blame it on being tired. If I’m having a hard time paying attention, I’m just too tired. It’s used so often it’s practically a more common default than “fine”!
Unaggressive– Whether it’s in games, driving, or how I treat people, I am never someone you would describe as aggressive. Though I may take part in competition and enjoy doing well, I will rarely fight to win, and would very often rather lose if that means that everyone has fun. (My other options for U were “Upbeat” and “Undigested”. Like either of these better? 😉 )
Violent Hiccuper– I couldn’t think of anything else, so I went with this.:-) I have hiccupped quite consistently everyday for the past 3 years or so. Sometimes it’s quiet and cute, but sometimes it gets loud and bodily jolting. (Only for my body, of course, unless you’re leaning on me.)
Worshipful– I don’t mean this in a self-righteous “oh look at how spiritual I am” kind of way. What I mean is that I really enjoy the typical avenue of worship: singing and music. When I can just get in that state when I’m focused on God and only God… golly, I love it. I really like to get away from people with just my music and open space before me. Some of my best memories of times with God came through worship.
Xerophthalmic– Ooook, I’m stretching here. The definition for this word is “of or pertaining to abnormal dryness of the eyeball characterized by conjunctivitis, caused by a deficiency of tears and attributed to a lack of vitamin A”. And I’m pretty sure I don’t have ALL that, but I have dry eyes that twitch a lot, so I’ma keep it because I only have so many options for words that begin with X!
Do I look irritated or what? -Zoned Out
Young-Looking– So far, I’ve noticed that people tend to think I’m younger than I actually am when they guess my age. I think the haircut helped me look older, but according to objective speculations, I can only suspect that I’m semi young-looking. We’ll see how long it lasts! 🙂
Zones Out– I mean, it’s not like nobody else does this, but I definitely zone out a lot. I usually catch myself, but if you’re ever sitting on the opposite side of the room and you see me staring unblinking at you for several seconds, I’m probably just zoning and about to snap out of it. 🙂
So earlier this year I listened all the way through Pride and Prejudice on my MP3 player during work. That made me want to rewatch my favorite version, the BBC 6 hour show with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle… which made me rewatch The Lizzie Bennet Diaries… which made me go on a Pride and Prejudice spree with 4 other versions! 🙂 So here are my reviews of all the versions I have seen.
Pride and Prejudice (BBC TV Mini-Series, 1995, starring Jennifer Ehle)– I grew up watching this version, and so I think it’ll always be my favorite. Watching it this time, Elizabeth Megill and I quoted along with it almost the whole way through. I think Colin Firth does my very favorite Darcy. Maybe it’s because I just like him as an actor or because he was my first model, but I think he does the changeover from Proud Darcy to Trying-to-be-Humble-and-Friendly Darcy the best of any I’ve seen. The fact that they also had 6 hours to show the characters more in-depth also helps.
My favorite version!
This version is very close to the book, with very little, if any, changes to the feel of it. The theme stays true, the characters are all done well, and I really like this Elizabeth. She plays the fun-loving Lizzie who likes to laugh with the equal balance of respectable intelligence; and I think her flaws are portrayed subtly but realistically. Again, I grew up watching this one, so I have great fondness and affection for it.
The Lizzie Bennet Diaries (Pemberly Digital, YouTube series, starring Ashley Clements)- This internet VLOG series is a modern adaptation of P&P, with some extreme switch-ups in the storyline. While they had to change circumstances and characters’ reactions due to the vast change in culture, I think they did a great job of staying true to the characters. The most onscreen characters are Lizzie, Jane, Lydia and Charlotte, and so the creators added a lot of new depth to Charlotte and Lydia. I mean, there WASN’T a whole lot of depth to Lydia in the book, which was the point, but I think this adaptation does some very interesting things with her character. But I won’t spoil anything else.
While the Lizzie and Darcy romance always has its cuteness and delight, I’m not as big a fan of this Darcy. I don’t think that his stilted behavior feels like it quite fits into the modern setting the way that everybody else does. Don’t get me wrong, he does a good job, but I still feel like he’s incredibly stiff by the end of the show. I hoped with a second viewing that I would feel a bit more connected to his character, but I still can’t quite get it. But that’s ok; it’s hard to do Darcy right, and I think Colin Firth’s is the only one I’ve really liked so far. And that’s only with a LOT of viewing.
Bride and Prejudice (2004, Bollywood Musical, starring Aishwarya Rai Bachchan)– This is another modernized version, but set in India and is a partial musical. (It has at least 3, maybe 4, song and dance scenes, which are all quite fun.) I saw it once long ago and then rewatched it for this challenge. It’s fun. The characters ring pretty true, and the songs and culture was enjoyable to watch. I like seeing their new takes on this story, and while it wasn’t superbly memorable, it was a pleasant watch. The modernization of Darcy is done differently than in the Lizzie Bennet diaries; the internet dude uses old-fashioned speak and is very stiff and proper, while this guy is just more of a snob who’s uncomfortable and scornful of the new culture he’s in. I can’t tell which is better, but they both have their different takes, which is fun for comparison.
Pride and Prejudice (2005, starring Keira Knightly)- This will probably always be one of my least favorite versions. I know lots of people like it, and that’s fine. I appreciate it better on this rewatch than when I first saw it. It has some cool visual moments (the dance scene and the long shot with her on the mountain are my 2 favorites) and the music is very pretty. However, the colors and the look are all kind of ugly. Maybe it’s more realistic, but it doesn’t look very elegant; mostly everyone and everything just kind of looks unattractive. But I’m spoiled with the gaily colored BBC version I guess. 🙂
Most people’s favorite.
Darcy’s… Darcy. Unsmiling (less than Colin) and fairly boring throughout. I like him when he’s vulnerable, but that’s really it. Also, while Keira tried to give Lizzie a fun-loving attitude, sometimes in this version she just feels a little immature. She giggles at odd times and says things like “(dancing with him) would be most inconvenient since I’ve sworn to loathe him for all eternity”. It feels just a little sillier than how I perceive her character. Oh, and Bingly looks and acts like a complete dork in this version!
Lastly, this version is clearly implying that Lizzie is attracted to Darcy from the start but that she is trying to shove down her feelings because she’s prejudiced. (They almost kiss right after she rejects his proposal! That’s not Lizzie, that’s emotionally-charged-modern-romance-movies.) While this is their interpretation of the story, and I guess I can’t object to them taking liberties to create their adapted version, I personally prefer the story that doesn’t say you have to secretly be in love with someone because you hate them. I am sorry about my harshness for anybody who likes this version. 🙂
Pride and Prejudice (BBC TV Mini-Series,1980, starring Elizabeth Garvie)- This was a decent version, with good acting, characters that were true and dialogue very consistent with the book. The plus about these mini-series’ is that you have the time to delve into the thoughts of the characters as they transition, more so than in a 120 minute movie.
The reason this adaptation is slower and more boring than the others is that it’s very visually limited and plain. It plays very little mood music throughout the movie, and they don’t go to a lot of lengths to engage you visually. The long scene where Lizzie reads Darcy’s letter consists of drawn out shots of her sitting and him walking away while his voiceover recites the letter; this is followed by a long scene of watching her sit and hearing her voiceover thoughts that she’s thinking about the letter. This kind of thing occurs frequently throughout the film, and while it gives you quite an accurate depiction of the story with decent acting, as a movie it’s not particularly engaging or exciting.
Lost in Austen (2008, starring Jemima Rooper)- Well. …. I can see why Elizabeth hated this. This is a story where Amanda Price, an adoring fan of the book Pride and Prejudice, ends up switching places with Elizabeth Bennett, and her presence causes chaos and mayhem. There is so much different about the plot in this one that I can’t just critique it, so for anyone who wants to know (if you don’t, STOP READING), this is the movie in a nutshell:
-Bingly falls for Amanda
-Collins falls for Amanda
-Bingly falls for Jane after Amanda pretends she’s a lesbian, but Jane thinks he doesn’t love her so Jane marries Collins
-Darcy hates Amanda
-Darcy falls for Amanda
-Charlotte runs off to Africa because she doesn’t have anyone to marry and is never heard from again
-Bingly gets depressed, becomes an alcoholic and ends up running off with Lydia
-Darcy won’t marry Amanda because she lived with her modern day boyfriend
-Caroline hits on Elizabeth
-Wickham actually turns out to be the victim of Georgiana, who hit on Wickham but when he wouldn’t take her up on it she slandered his name
-Jane and Collins get their marriage annulled and she and Bingly get married
-And Elizabeth stays in the modern world while Amanda and Darcy get married.
It’s a bit ridiculous. Clearly they were trying to make a fun story about what would have happened if everything went wrong, but none of the characters actually would have responded this way. Everything that makes these characters who they are was flipped around and destroyed.
However, the best part was when Darcy and Amanda both decide they love each other, and she says, “Will you do me a favor?” and the next scene you see him coming up out of the water while she watches. (Because there’s this thing in England where all the women say that the most acclaimed visual moment is watching Colin Firth as Darcy come out of the lake that he swims in. It turns out to be a visual that doesn’t actually exist. But it’s something bunches of people insist that they saw anyway.) That part was fantastic. But other than that, it was an awkward and disarrayed movie. SPOILER END
So, those are my movie reviews! …. ….
Don’t really have an outro to this blog, so I’ll just leave you with this nugget of wisdom:
“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”
Well, since last week I had my last day of my McDonald’s job, I figured I would do a blog about it! It was my very first REAL job (all I’d done before was babysitting, paper route, volunteer work and online writing that wasn’t enough for me to live off of), and I was so very grateful to get the job when I did, after being unemployed for so long.
So, now that that phase is over (so far), here are the top 5 things I learned while I was working at McDonald’s! 🙂
1. I Really Like to Help People
I know, that’s kind of vague, and something that everybody says. What I mean, though, is that whenever I am able to do something that actually helps someone out, I get a very satisfying feeling of accomplishment. And it’s over the smallest things! When somebody is ordering and they ask a question about what’s on a sandwich, or they want to know the difference in price between a frappe and a mocha, I love being able to give them the answer. My job IS to help them get what they want; that’s what I’m there for. And so however they need me to assist, whether it is with my knowledge of the menu or spending extra time rereading their order back to them, I really enjoy doing my best to make their shopping experience a good one.
2. Take Criticism Seriously, But Don’t Take it to Heart
Anywhere that you work, you’re going to get corrected and critiqued by people, especially when you’re learning a new job. Your managers and supervisors are “bossy” and authoritative for a reason: to teach you how to do the job with excellence. That means that things you do are going to be corrected, and attitudes you have will be reproved. When you’re doing something wrong, it’s their job to tell you how to stop and fix it.
When it’s busy and chaotic in McDonald’s, sometimes it gets very stressful, and it’s easy for any critique at all to feel like a cut-down or condescending, if you let it. Communication is key, and the priority isn’t to sugarcoat it, but to make sure the message gets across. The important thing for me is to make sure I listen to the words that are told to me (“Make sure you do this”, “This part of your job is your priority, not that”) without getting thrown off or hurt by any stressed tone or frustrated sigh. People can’t help getting stressed out, and frustration can make people seem more upset than they actually are. So if I’m tempted to feel insecure by something that was said in the heat of craziness, I’ve learned to follow the correction itself while shaking off the rest.
3. A Small Compliment Can Make Your Day
When running around doing a lot of mundane and repetitive tasks all day long, sometimes a genuine smile or a kind word can just make your day. I remember one morning I had been on Window (which is what we call the counter with the cash registers, for some reason) for a while by myself; I had served a pleasant man who went and ate his food, and when he was done he came up to the counter and told me that I had a very pleasant demeanor, and to keep up the good work. I smiled about that for the next 10 minutes.
There was a lady in drive thru who always asked for extra ice in her sweet tea and would thank me every time I put it in. Many customers who came through were just so friendly and good-humored that it brightened me right up. And of course, getting a smiling “You’re doing a great job!” from a manager, or a delighted “Hi, Bethany!” from a co-worker was always encouraging. So the next time you enjoy your experience at a restaurant, say so to the worker! It might just make their day.
4. The Majority of People Are Actually Pretty Nice
For years I didn’t apply to any fast food places because I was all like, “I don’t think I could handle all the angry customers!” But actually getting into the job, I discovered that that issue wasn’t nearly as prevalent as I expected it to be!
More than half of the customers I served were friendly, pleasant and understanding. Lots of times the customers themselves would be the ones apologizing for their complicated orders. Even those who aren’t overtly chatty or smiley are rarely grumpy or make complaints. Most people will wait patiently for their food, and when we as workers treat them politely and apologize for any mistakes we make, we’re usually greeted with understanding. (Though of course we never know what people will say when they go out to their car 😉 )
Though I’ve definitely experienced my share of cranky customers and rude people, for me it’s a very rare thing. Everybody has their bad days and snippy moments, but for the most part, I think people really try to be decent to each other. And it’s very encouraging when they are.
5. No Job is Unimportant
Like I said earlier, it was several years of off and on job searching before I decided to apply to any fast food places. It’s not that I thought it was “beneath” me; it was just the kind of thing that everybody seemed to say wasn’t the best of work, and again, I was scared to be in that fast-paced environment. And while I still wouldn’t want to work in fast food my whole life (especially now that I’ve discovered how much it hurts to stand for too long), getting the McDonald’s job was very relieving for me, and I was so grateful.
While the work is basic and the tasks fairly easy to learn, that doesn’t mean that it’s not important. Being excellent in everything is something that you need to take into every job you have. It’s easy to mess up behind the counter, and “accuracy, speed and friendliness” are the 3 things McDonald’s strives for. Finding the perfect balance between all 3 can be challenging, but it’s definitely possible! But it takes a lot of teamwork. You’ve got those taking orders, taking money, making food, packing food and giving food When everyone does their job with excellence, everything goes well; but when a mistake is made, usually more than one person has to help to rectify it. Each task is vital, and though we may not be saving the world, striving to always do my best is something I want to take with me into every job.
Thanks to my McDonald’s team for being my team and making my time there awesome! Good luck to all of y’al! 🙂